Bahamas Bans American Tourists Due to Spike in COVID-19 Cases
Bahamas Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis announced Sunday that he country will close its borders to travelers from the United States starting Wednesday, July 22. The Prime Minister cited recent spikes in COVID-19 cases in the US and elsewhere around the world in banning international travel, with some exemptions for emergency and essential travel. However travelers from Canada, the United Kingdom and the European Union will still be permitted to travel to the Bahamas.
“Regrettably, the situation here at home has already deteriorated since we began the reopening of our domestic economy,” Minnis said. “It has deteriorated at an exponential rate since we reopened our international borders.”
Americans make up a large part of tourists that visit Bahamas annually, especially Floridians.that coming from Florida. There is also a significant Bahamian population in South Florida. That is a state that recorded another 12,478 COVID-19 cases and 89 new deaths Sunday and surpassed 5,000 COVID-19 deaths Saturday.
Bahamasair will also cease outgoing flights to the United States of America, effective immediately, the announcement said. To accommodate visitors scheduled to leave after Wednesday, 22 July 2020, outgoing commercial flights will be permitted.
The Bahamas Ministry of Health has confirmed 15 new cases of COVID-19. The total number of cases is now at 153. According to the Surveillance Unit there have been 49 new cases since Bahamas borders fully opened on July 1st. Thirty-one of those new cases were recorded on the island of Grand Bahama. The Caribbean country has had 11 deaths so far due to COVID-19.